Interesting read: Adaptive practice, personalized learning, and what will “obviously” work in education.

From experience to meaning...

Has been a while that I did a blog post like this, but this new post by Daniel Willingham is an interesting read – adding to this earlier post by Larry Cuban.

Daniel Willingham is discussing in his post this new Dutch study:

  • A double-blind field experiment for evaluating two practicing algorithms.
  • Adaptive practicing yields test scores similar to traditional static practicing.
  • High ability students perform slightly worse when practicing adaptively.
  • Effective personalization of education asks for a more comprehensive approach.

Does this mean that adaptive instruction doesn’t work? Willingham explains why there was not a positive effect of adaptive testing? (bold by me)

One possibility is low dosage. The intervention was only 15 minutes per week and although students could have practiced more, few did. At the same time, the intervention lasted an entire school year, the N was fairly large, and an effect was observed…

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